I am honored to have been nominated to become the president of NYSAA. I started my assessment career in 1992 as part-time assessment clerk in the Town of Evans working alongside my father while attending Hilbert College. During my tenure, I was appointed the assessor in the Town of Boston shortly after receiving my state certification in 2006. In 2010, I was appointed the assessor for the Town of Cheektowaga through a municipal agreement. In 2010, in a joint effort with Kandace Wittmeyer, we developed a PowerPoint presentation for local officials and assessors to use; we received the NYSAA Innovation Award for our efforts. In 2013, the Towns of Evans and Cheektowaga entered into a municipal agreement bringing me back to my hometown. I have worked in towns with multiple staff members and contractors to working in a small town with limited staff. I understand the importance of keeping the assessment functions at the local level.
During my tenure on the NYSAA Executive Board, I have chaired or been a member of the following committees: Awards, Constitution and Bylaws, Employee, Membership, Memorial, Public Relations, Current Issues, Public Relations, and Mentoring. I also have served on the Erie County Assessors Association Executive Board as president and vice president. If elected, I will do my best to serve the membership to the best of my ability, keeping assessing at the local level, and continuing to hold Legislative Action Day!
To be nominated to become the first vice president of NYSAA is an honor. My assessment career started in October 2000 as a part-time assessment clerk in my hometown, working with a great teacher and mentor, Paul Maniacek, who told me he would hire me only if I was to become the assessor one day. Desperately needing a job, the answer was yes, not knowing what exactly an assessor did. After a couple of years, to get full-time work, the town hired me as the zoning/planning clerk and board secretary. Keeping my promise to Paul, I eventually took classes, becoming a state certified candidate for assessor in 2012, and to step in when Paul choose to retire. May 2013, Paul decided to retire, and Horicon appointed me as sole assessor. In 2015, the Town of Bolton’s long-time assessor, Dave Rosebrook, decided to retire. The two towns expressed interest in sharing the assessor position and, through a municipal agreement, I have been with both towns since, just finishing up my first revaluation project.
During my tenure on the NYSAA Executive Board, I have chaired or been a member of the Membership, Awards, Fall Conference, Employee, Memorial, Public Relations, and Current Issues Committees. I have served on the Warren County Assessors Association as the vice president, treasurer, and secretary. If elected, I will continue to contribute in any way possible to help progress NYSAA and its members.
I became the sole appointed assessor for the Town & Village of Green Island in October 2006. I immediately became involved in the Albany-Schenectady County Assessor's Association serving as the vice president and president. In 2014, I completed my first reassessment project; it was a first for myself and for the Town/Village of Green Island. A challenge indeed, however, I had tremendous support from the village and town boards, as well as countless valuable resources within the assessment community. I am pleased to be surrounded by so many experienced and knowledgeable assessors, and I am grateful for the educational opportunities. In 2018, I accepted the position as the Albany County Director of Real Property Tax Services, and then in 2021 I returned to the Village of Green Island as assessor.
I am honored to have received the nomination to continue to serve as second vice president of the NYSAA Executive Board. I thank each one of you for the opportunity.
My name is Lisa R. Goree, and I am the currently the sole assessor for the Town of Southampton. When I walked into the assessor's office 20 years ago to interview for the assessment clerk position, I had no idea what an assessment clerk did or, for that matter, what the assessor's office did. After being hired, I steadily climbed my way up the ranks and became the deputy assessor in 2009 and was later appointed sole assessor in 2013. The town has over 50,000 parcels that include over 37,000 residential properties. Approximately 7% of our single-family residences are considered "exceptional homes"; however, they make up 44% of our residential assessed value.
I am a Native American from the Shinnecock Tribe and have been married to my husband Kristin for 35 years. Together we have raised three beautiful daughters who have blessed us with four wonderful grandchildren. We live on the Shinnecock Reservation, the oldest self-governing tribe in New York State. My tribe welcomed the first settlers to what is now called Southampton Village in 1640. I am the first Native American to hold a department head position in the town. My youngest daughter, Kesi, is the first female Native American to become a police officer for both the Village and Town of Southampton Police Departments.
During my time with the town, I was involved with the 2004 town-wide reassessment where I oversaw the data collection and data conversion process from Boeckh to Marshall & Swift. I was also instrumental in assisting the town's Information and Technology Department with implementing its electronic and online grievance submission process in 2011, where we cut our paper grievance submissions from over 5,000 to just over 400. All applicants/petitioners who file using either the bulk electronic and online process are now sent their BOAR determination notices by email. This process has saved the town thousands of dollars annually in time, staff, and printing. One day I hope to have a similar process for our exemptions in an effort to reduce or eliminate the tremendous amount of hard copy applications that are kept.
Beginning my public career as a real property appraiser allowed me to learn from the ground up. Getting to know the nuts and bolts of assessing, exposure to local politics with cover from above, and honing my diplomacy skills prepared me for the new challenge of deputy assessor for the largest town in Westchester. This position elevated me to a more responsible roll assisting unhappy taxpayers, developers, attorneys and, of course, SCAR hearings. It also provided me with the opportunity to manage a busy office of 10 professional and clerical staff, without the full consequences of being the boss. I am very fortunate to have had two outstanding bosses who took their time to teach me and allowed me to learn and grow from observation as well as trial and error. All this prepared me for my current position, which I have held since 2015.
I hope to use the experience gained over the past 27 years in both private and public employment to continue to move our Association forward to benefit the taxpayers of our great state as well as those I serve locally. I believe strongly in education for our membership as well as educating the citizens we serve as to what we do and why. An informed public is a happier public when it comes to taxation, and assists in building public trust, which is paramount in our profession. I hope to bring my ability to forge strong working relationships to this Board to add to its future successes.
I began my journey towards becoming an assessor in 1989. I took a job as a data collector for a mass appraisal consulting firm. I loved it from the moment I started. My interaction with assessors at that time was very limited. I viewed them as angry hermits that lived in caves somewhere in the bowels of town halls scattered across the realm. They only came out once or twice a year to roll the bones and grumble at property owners on grievance day. I never wanted to be anything like those assessors or end up becoming one myself.
As the years went by, I worked for a number of different appraisal consulting companies in several states. Data collection inevitably became field review, which then moved into valuation and all phases of mass appraisal. During this time, a number of my friends and colleagues who also worked for these companies were becoming assessors. As more towns moved to sole appointed assessors and were seeking out candidates with experience, I decided to get certified and take my chances. I accepted my first appointment on July 1, 1999 for the Town of Williamstown in Oswego County. I have been the assessor there every day since. I am currently the sole assessor for five municipalities in Oswego and Wayne counties. I try my very best not to resemble the angry hermits of old, but it is not always easy. Fortunately, I love being an assessor.
I became a member of IAO in 2004. I am currently a certified general appraiser in New York State. I have served as vice president and president of the Oswego County Assessor Association.
Prior to launching my career in real estate I grew up in a small farming town along the St. Lawrence River. I wasn’t one of the rich kids that grew up on the river side of town; I grew up on the other side near the legendary Lisbon Swamp! My family lived off a dirt road which at the time only had two driveways off the road. Lucky for us, we lived off the end that had power!
I spent my high school days working on family farms, this is where I got my drive and learned about work ethic. After graduation, I attended college and experienced some difficult times. I became a Dad, had to put college aside for a bit and went back to work field. I then spent a few years working with persons with disabilities before landing my first big paying job at the local glass plant. While working at the plant I picked up a part time job, and worked as a Correctional Officer for the County Sheriff. The position didn’t pay well, but I enjoyed my time working for the Sheriff’s Department. Shift work and a back surgery took a toll on me after eleven years.
I then decided to shift gears. I took a real estate class and obtained my license to become an agent. In 2008, while working as a real estate agent, I pursued an Assistant Appraisal License. The local residential appraisers mostly mocked me and said it was too difficult to get your license. One from a neighboring county flat out told me I couldn’t do it. My uncle is a Certified General; his specialty is in farm appraisals. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to perform residential appraisals under his guidance. Shortly thereafter I got a job as a data collector for a local town. My goal was to obtain an appraisal license and this experience would be credited forward. I read the NYS Assessors Data Collection Manual cover to cover and set out data collecting the entire town of about 5500 parcels.
After only a year and a half I was promoted to Assessor for that town. Within a few months I picked up my second town and became the Assessor for the Town of Morristown. Jokingly I would say to our County Director, Mr. Darren Colton, that I was vying for “Rookie of the Year!” There was no reward after my first full year, but I was tasked with my first revaluation as a consolation prize! I had no idea at the time what I was getting into. I guess my response, “Sure, let’s do it!” made me sound just like a rookie. There were no fancy contractors, no extra help, or no extra pay. All I can say is it was year of my life I’ll never get back! Nothing left but lots of stories to tell! The positive side is, it gave me the experience I needed for modeling and valuation for my appraisal license. Immediately after the reval was complete I went back to taking college classes. The NYS Certified Residential license required a two year degree or these specific 21 semester hours. I went on to work two jobs and went to school full time. I took classes online and attended in person before and after work. These two years were pretty rough trying to raise two kids and hold down the fort at home. I was very determined to my appraisal license, I knew it was a now or never scenario. This was just before the requirements changed to needing a four year degree to be certified. I knew that goal was insurmountable.
As soon as I had the minimum of five years’ experience I wanted to challenge the IAO exam in 2014. I was pretty confident before the exam. My only worry was that I wouldn’t have enough time to finish. The test was fun and challenging. I ended up being one of the first ones done out of my group of eleven. When I handed my test in to our proctor, Mr. Patrick Duffy, I told him next time you see me at the conference I’ll be wearing one of those fancy little ribbons on my name tag. Two people passed out of our group and I am proud to say I was one of them!
Unlike high school I poured my heart and soul in school. Getting mostly A’s and a couple B’s made me one proud dude! Yup, I now have my appraisal license along with my own broker’s license. In 2015, I opened American Dream Realty and Appraisal Service which is currently operating today.
In 2017, I decided to step away from my full time town. I went to work at a psychiatric center near where I lived. It was a good experience, but once again I was back to shift work. The worst part about it was very difficult to take any time off when you wanted to or needed to. This is when I had to step away from the New York State Assessor’s Association Executive Board and my hobby of playing semi pro football. I really wasn’t able to do anything that didn’t fit around my work schedule. I didn’t want to miss my daughters last couple years of high school so I resigned from the position.
In 2018, I was able to get hired in the Town of Clifton, where I took over for my good buddy Michael Ward. The Town of Clifton is in the Adirondack Park. It’s just a gorgeous town. October of 2019, I went back to work full time as the Assessor for the Town of Malone in Franklin County. Within a few years I ended up with two more towns. Currently I work for the towns of Malone, Clifton, Morristown, Edwards and Constable. Geographically, the towns I work in are spread out but I refer to them as the Bermuda Triangle and just hope I don’t get swallowed up somewhere in between!
Education has always been very important to me. I take as many classes as I can, learn as much as I can and do it whenever I can. This is quite the contrary to my thoughts from my earlier days.
I think this is the part where I tell everyone what I like to do outside of work; however there doesn’t seem to be much to my life outside of work. I recently signed a one year contract to play semi pro football. I was a rookie at the young age of 40. I’m going back to my original team, but what makes it better is that I’m playing with my son. Other things I like do in my “spare time” are mostly swinging my hammer trying to make an old farmhouse livable again. I enjoy what every country boy does; hunting, camping, fishing, four wheeling, snowmobiling, horseback riding, farming and all that kind of stuff. Going to church, volunteering, singing karaoke, line dancing and spending time with the family are the things I enjoy the most!
I’ve had to fight and claw for everything I have. Nothing comes easy. I’ve been knocked off my horse many times, but I always find my way back on. I stand firmly for what I believe in even if I stand alone. Stand up for those that need help and always willing to give a hand when needed. I never forget where I come from no matter how many times I’ve been on the bottom, and remain humble. I’ve always told my kids to try and be a better person today than you were yesterday.
Many of you have known me as, “Cowboy” at the Assessor’s conferences. I’m the big guy with the big ole smile on my face. I wear a cowboy hat and have the fancy dance moves. I’m totally looking forward to be back with my fellow Assessors at classes and reestablishing our comradery!
When I had to leave the board after serving two years I remember the conversation I had with a colleague. We talked about someday coming back and finishing what I started. With your vote I’d like to do just that! There are a lot of things we stand up for and fight for. There are so many things with real property tax law we need to fix. We can’t let the state take away our constitutional rights and attack our profession. So this year I hope to get your vote for the New York State Assessor’s Association Executive Board!!! God Bless!!!